This week, Israeli politics plumbed appalling new lows with reports that, Blue & White, which, as the major rival to PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, emerged as the second largest party in last week’s Knesset elections was actively planning to violate its solemn pledges to the voters, made only days previously.
In a breathtaking display of unprincipled cynicism, Blue & White's leadership, which comprises three former commanders of the IDF, appears poised to renege on its explicit campaign pledges. Thus, despite repeated—and seemingly resolute—vows that they would not seek to establish a coalition dependent on the anti-Zionist Joint List, a motley amalgam of Communists, Islamists and radical Arab nationalists, Blue & White is doing precisely that!
Worse, beyond making a covenant with a party that not only undisguisedly supports Israel’s most vehement enemies but openly denies its status as a Jewish state, the Blue & White leadership has castigated party members who insist on honoring its election pledges--even demanding their resignation for their display of public integrity . This is particularly the case with Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser, two prominent Right-of-Center members of Blue & White.
Ironically, during the election campaign, both Hendel and Hauser played a crucial role in presenting Blue & White’s professed views to the public and particularly in establishing its Right-of-Center credentials, designed to distance itself from Israel’s floundering Left.
There seems no rational explanation for this manifestly irrational behavior other than that Netanyahu’s rivals’ seemingly pathological ad hominem hatred for him has totally unhinged them from any reasonable and responsible political action.
This is clearly a scandalous and unacceptable breach of public trust. It must be met with correspondingly appropriate public outrage. All fair-minded men and women, both inside and outside Israel’s political system, must express their righteous anger at this intolerable deception and duplicity and make sure it will not succeed.
For the future of the entire Zionist enterprise may literally hang in the balance.
Martin Sherman is the founder & executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies